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Too Soon for Sudan’s Christians and minorities to celebrate

Omar al-Bashir Sudan’s leader, Omar al-Bashir, who presided over the destruction of dozens of churches and the deaths of an estimated two and a half million people from religious and ethnic minorities, has been overthrown in a military coup. On Thursday afternoon, the defence minister, General Awan Ibn Auf, announced that a transitional military council would rule Sudan for the next two years. Although he promised elections would follow, civil society leaders and Sudanese diaspora are unconvinced their new military rulers will be any different from Field Marshall Bashir. The 11 April coup follows four months of pro-democracy protests in cities across Sudan. The peaceful demonstrations, organised by the Sudanese Professionals Association, were met with…

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In Iraq, Iran and Turkey Are The Real Winners

The US is trying to create a Middle Eastern coalition to undermine Iran. They are sixteen years too late. Damaged historic Christian town of Qaraqosh on Iraq’s Nineveh plain, December, 2016. NurPhoto/PressAssociation. All rights reserved. This week, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo hosts a meeting in Warsaw, aimed at forming a Middle Eastern coalition against Tehran. Yet, at the same time, the Trump Administration has confirmed most US forces will exit Syria by May, leaving a regional vacuum that benefits Iran, Turkey and Islamic State. This could provoke a new surge of migration and, paradoxically, put America’s closest ally, Israel, in peril: Iran is stockpiling weapons along the border between Syria and Israel, and its proxies are poised…

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A slap on the wrist: Justice, from the Holocaust to Rwanda to Nineveh

Any day now, Theoneste Bagosora, a mastermind of the 1994 Rwandan genocide, will be eligible to apply for early release. In 2011, Bagosora’s life-in-prison verdict was reduced to 35 years by Theodor Meron, the American judge heading the international court administering sentences; the genocidaire has now served two thirds of his sentence. Meron has been criticised for freeing other architects of the slaughter that killed 70 per cent of the Tutsi ethnic group living in Rwanda.   Reuters: A rose bouquet is laid on a coffin in the Catholic church in Nyamata containing the remains of victims of mass killings during the 1994 genocide in Rwanda. In the words of a survivor who was eight years…

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Race and Christianity in America

By: Rebecca Tinsley “My God, my God, why hast though forsaken me?” is the greatest blues line of all time, according to the African American intellectual, Stanley Crouch. For the rapper, Tupak Shakur, Jesus was, “Somebody that hurt like we hurt, that understands where we’re coming from.” James Cone’s “The Cross and the Lynching Tree” www.goodreads.com/book/show/12417679-the-cross-and-the-lynching-tree explains the parallels between Jesus, the innocent victim of mob hysteria in the Roman Empire’s province of Judea, and almost five thousand African Americans who were lynched, mostly between 1880 and 1940. In both cases, Cone suggests, the point was not the punishment or death of the supposed offender, but a warning to those considering sedition against the powers that…

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Iraq, and the warning from Jewish history

Hakham Ezra Dangoor, chief rabbi of Baghdad, pictured with his family in 1910. (Jewish News) What do these three news items have in common? 1) The beautiful synagogue in Akra in Iraqi Kurdistan is crumbling to the point of collapse, as Iraq’s famous Jewish families (Sassoon, Saatchi, Gubbay, etc.) are written out of Iraqi history. 2) Thirty six Iraqi Christian churches were destroyed by Islamic State in 2014, but thousands of Christians cannot return from internal exile. Their homes are now occupied by Muslim Arabs, and their former communities are controlled by opposing Arab and Kurdish militias who each claim territory in the plain of Nineveh. 3) August 3rd marks the fourth anniversary of Islamic…

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Events

All Christians are brothers, and all Muslims are brothers – except when their skin is black

How much empathy do Christians feel for their brothers and sisters in Africa? Why do Muslims lose so little sleep over the elimination of their co-religionists in Darfur? South Sudan refugee camp, 2011. Maximilian Norz/DPA/PA Images. All rights reserved.Judging by the millions protesting against president Trump’s policies on behalf of the vulnerable and voiceless, empathy is alive and well. Or is it? Trump’s recent immigration ban exempts Christians from Muslim-majority countries, recognizing their status as the world’s most persecuted faith. But how much empathy do Christians feel for their brothers and sisters in Africa? And why do Muslims who care about the plight of the Palestinians lose so little sleep over the systematic elimination of their black…

Why is Obama Silent About Meriam?

Last week a woman gave birth while chained to a prison wall in Sudan. But as soon as baby Maya is weaned, her mother will hang for the crime of ‘apostasy’. Meriam Ibrahim considers herself a Christian. Although her father was a Muslim, he abandoned her Christian mother when Meriam was a child. The twenty-seven-year-old Meriam compounded her ‘crime’ by marrying a Christian, a US citizen, and now she faces death. The head of the Anglican Church, Justin Welby, Hillary Clinton and the British Prime Minister, David Cameron, have condemned Meriam’s sentence. But President Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry are silent . Their failure to join the global chorus of outrage at Sudan’s warped interpretation…

PRACTICAL HELP FOR SURVIVORS OF GENOCIDE

Rebecca believes it isn't enough to be informed about genocide - we need to support the resilient and resourceful survivors of genocide who reject the label 'victim.' That's why she founded Network for Africa, a registered charity in the USA and UK. Please click here to learn about Network for Africa's practical projects offering a helping hand to survivors of the Rwandan genocide, and survivors of the Lord's Resistance Army in northern Uganda. Thank you.

Featured Articles

Teach Your Children Well

It takes political will to prevent genocide, not international law December 9th is the international day of genocide awareness and prevention. The Genocide Convention (1948) was a response to the Holocaust, marking the special status of mass murder committed with the intention of eliminating a category of people on the basis of their ethnicity or faith. The Genocide Convention has been followed by sundry international laws and treaties, aimed at creating legal norms recognized across the world as universal ethical standards. Yet, to judge by the collective impact of these worthy pieces of paper, the Treaty of Westphalia of 1648, guaranteeing state sovereignty, still overrides well-meaning attempts to stop leaders slaughtering their own people. The problem lies…

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Is reconciliation possible in South Sudan?

If impunity is the cost of peace, how can societies recover from violent conflict? A South Sudanese man holding a Heckler and Koch G3 rifle. Credit: Steve Evans/Flickr. Licensed under CC BY 2.0 via Commons. When diplomats met in Vienna at the end of October to try to break the ongoing stalemate in Syria, they were divided on whether President Assad should stay in power. Garnering less attention but tackling equally unpalatable choices, the African Union has finally published its report on the civil war in South Sudan. In both cases, the victims of conflict will probably be denied the justice they deserve, and it’s doubtful whether sufficient political will exists to deliver the truth-telling mechanisms that are necessary…

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America’s not so exceptional foreign policy

What can explain the myopia of US policy towards Sudan, when it knows Sudan has been facilitating ISIS in Libya, Syria and Iraq, and other terror groups? Albert Gonzalez Farran/Demotix. All rights reserved. The US Special Envoy, Donald Booth, will be given a warm welcome when he visits Sudan at the end of July. Khartoum’s hard-line Islamist regime anticipates the normalisation of relations with America, and the end of sanctions imposed by Bill Clinton in 1997, following Sudan’s role in bombing US embassies in Kenya and Tanzania. Five years ago Sudan’s President, Omar Bashir, was indicted for the crime of genocide against his own citizens in Darfur. However, Washington justifies this diplomatic thaw by claiming Sudan…

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Africa’s Angry Young Men

No school, no job, no future. Why so many of Africa’s young men choose militias The Central African Republic (CAR) is a poor, arid, landlocked country the size of Texas. According to the United Nations, the former French colony is now experiencing the world’s largest forgotten humanitarian crisis. In March 2013, a mainly Muslim rebel group overthrew the corrupt regime of President François Bozizé. In response, a Christian militia took revenge on the country’s Muslim minority with a brutal campaign of ethnic cleansing. Ninety-nine percent of Muslims in the capital, Bangui, are dead or have left, and one quarter of the country’s entire population have fled their homes. Despite the religious make-up of the warring parties, refugees who have sought…

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